Jewish refugees - from Arab countries to Israel
In the years of 1949 to 1952 about 850,000 Jews fled their Arab countries and 700,000 of them arrived to Israel, about the same number as the Palestinian Arabs who fled Israel. We don't hear too much about these Jews, as if the issue of Refugees after the establishment of Israel should mean Palestinian refugees only.
"Jewish Refugees Never Saw Justice" say both a US and a UK public figure recently. Both an American congressman and a British MP called on their colleagues to remember and to consider the case of Jewish refugees from Arab countries, who fled Arab nations because their ancient communities, in Egypt, Iraq and elsewhere, predating by 1,000 years the Arab conquest of the Middle East and North Africa, were destroyed after Israel was established.
"It is critical that future peace negotiations and discussions, specifically on the rights of refugees, address both sides of the refugee issue, Arab and Jewish," said Frank Pallone, a New Jersey Democrat, noting that Congress and the general public are much better versed in the Palestinian refugee problem. In April 2008, the US Congress passed Resolution Nr.185 calling for an official reference to Palestinian refugees to be balanced with an equal reference to Jewish refugees.
Pallone said that approximately 1 million Jews fled Arab lands following Israel's establishment. (As said, others put the figure at 850,000.) Anyway, the number of Jewish refugees expelled from Arab countries equals or topples the number of Arab refugees from Israel.) Arab states have never acknowledged any responsibility for driving them out, nor have they offered compensation for confiscated assets. Abandoned Jewish property in Arab lands is estimated at five times the total area of Israel!
The Arab world has not absorbed the Arab refugees from Israel. "The fact that Israel chose to absorb and assimilate the (Jewish) refugees from Arab nations does not lessen the fact that they were expelled or otherwise compelled to leave their homelands," he said.
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